One of the most blighted and underutilized intersections in the city is going to get an injection of life. Uniland Development Company has announced that it plans on developing 20 acres of land at the corner of Elmwood and Hertel – a commercial site that has been owned by Frank Deni and his family. The property is being purchased by a Uniland-controlled limited liability company with partner-member Blue Cardinal Capital, a Buffalo-based private equity fund.
This is big news for the entire North Buffalo corner, and will help to bridge Elmwood Avenue and Hertel, where there has always been a “disconnect” at this intersection due to numerous vacant parcels of land. Moving forward, a multi-phased approach of acquiring and developing the properties will result in a mixed-use scenario that will include retail, office, industrial and residential. According to representatives at Uniland, this is one of the few remaining undeveloped parcels in North Buffalo. It’s also been an area many have hoped to see developed for years. Uniland has already entered into discussions with possible tenants regarding the development.
“The Deni family had the foresight to assemble a large tract of land many years ago and we are excited to take on the next step in its use,” said Michael Montante, Uniland vice president. “With all of the development nearby, we think this real estate has a lot of potential to offer new services and jobs, and add to the revitalization of this North Buffalo corridor.”
The intersection is nearby to where a number of developer Rocco Termini’s projects have been recently completed, or are underway, including Chandler Street. It’s also in close proximity to the Pierce Arrow Complex. This acquisition bodes well for Hertel Avenue as a whole, especially between Elmwood and Delaware, which has always been considered a missed opportunity, with no real urbanist qualities. Hertel deserves better, and should be strategically planned from Delaware all the way to Tow Path Park. This Uniland project could be a catalyst to get that vision underway.
Over the years we’ve seen players eye this property, and there have been a lot of rumors swirling around about possible developments, but nothing came to pass. Now Uniland is set to close on the initial nine nine acres of land any day. That land is the southern most parcel, and some pieces along Elmwood, close to Hertel.